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2011 – The Year in Asian Design

We look back at the people, projects and events that helped make this a memorable year for design. Here’s our review of 2011!

2011 – The Year in Asian Design


December 28th, 2011

Yes, it’s that time of the year where we pick out the special moments that moved and inspired us. And what an incredible year it’s been!

We celebrated the 12 winners at Singapore’s President’s Design Award, including ’Designer of the Year’, veteran architects Tang Guan Bee and Sonny Chan; and let’s not forget WOHA and their RIBA Lubetkin Prize win – the first by a Singapore firm.

WOHA not only received the RIBA Lubetkin Prize for The Met, but also won the President’s Design Award for SOTA (above).

President’s Design Award ’Designer of the Year’ Tang Guan Bee.

We welcomed the long-awaited Space Asia Hub to Singapore and its enviable list of iconic European brands.

We visited the 5th successful edition of ArchiFest, including an architectural tour around the island, and marvelled at an ice and sand installation that braved the tropical weather!

Future Memory Pavilion – the ice/sand installation is the first Singapore project by London-based Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt.

Still on installations, the dazzling “Night Lights” display in Singapore’s art precinct captured our attention, and so too, the announcement that the sustainable light art festival i Light would return to Singapore’s Marina Bay in 2012!

We were there, reporting on the ground at the International Furniture Fair Singapore, and around the world at the Milan fair, and Cersaie in Bologna.

Triennale di Milano

We also sat down in conversation with young Singaporean talents Hans Tan and Studio Juju, both of whom made the headlines at international fairs.

Studio Juju’s Wobble and Mushroom collections at Milan’s Salone Satellite 2011.

The triple disaster that hit Japan early this year saw both designers and industry championing areas deeply affected by the events, as seen at the Good Design Expo, and the positive energy at Design Week in Tokyo.

Toshiyuki Kita’s Timeless Future exhibition at Tokyo Designers Week.

Let’s not forget other equally inspiring events we managed to catch. Hong Kong was buzzing when Business of Design Week came into town, gathering together many foremost names in design (read our interview with Shigeru Ban). The first Herman Miller exhibition in Asia also got everyone talking, not to mention the battle of “Herman Miller vs Matt Blatt” on the issue of replicas!

Eames Demetrios, grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, giving a presentation on the couple at the Herman Miller exhibition in Hong Kong.

Still on Hong Kong, industrial designer Michael Young took time out to hold a seminal exhibition of one-off works, and Hotel ICON wowed us with the many leading creatives it had enlisted for the build.

In China, Beijing was named the location for next year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony! Shanghai Museum of Glass also gave us a vision of tomorrow’s museum, and further away, we enjoyed a virtual tour of the controversial Ordos Museum in Inner Mongolia.

Shanghai Museum of Glass

Ordos Museum in Inner Mongolia

Back in Singapore, the first Louis Vuitton store on water opened at Marina Bay Sands; and Toyo Ito and Moshe Safdie also flew into town to launch new projects that while very different, offered distinctive green features.

Louis Vuitton Maison Singapore, the brand’s first store on water.

Adding major buzz, the first Saturday in Design Singapore in May saw crowds flocking to over 31 showrooms and spaces across the island to take in the best of local and international design. We also announced that the next edition would be returning in October 2012!

Saturday in Design Singapore

We round off the year with the most important news yet! Indesign has added established Singapore titles CUBES, Lookbox, and Lookbox annual to the fold as part of its continued expansion into Asia.

Check in with in 2012 for more news from the region!

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